Much like John Connor in Terminator 3, I’ve been living “off the grid” of late. Last year I watched all my of co-workers lose their jobs, while I toiled away on a sinking ship trying to sell hand-held video games to impressionable teenage boys–a far cry from what was an endless music-video oasis and a place for musicians to come talk shop about their latest album and tour. I’m not hatin’ on anyone–I’m just saying–that’s how it went down.
After my office was taken away, I was told to sit by the phone and wait for my next assignment. Eventually my mail stopped coming (I’m still trying to figure out who’s listening to all my free CD’s), and getting in contact with acquaintances at record labels soon became a challenging task. It was difficult, I later found out, cause a lot of these record label people also lost their jobs. Seven years into the business (with four years of college radio experience on top of that), and I can tell you, I have never seen anything like this.
I guess it’s both good and bad though. In one way it’s good, because it forces labels to do away with their old business formulas (music should never be a math problem). It’s sad, however, because there are some kids who will never get the thrill of walking through a record store.
I’ve decided to do this site here at IFC because I’m still a fan of music. Regardless of business models, social networking sites, or sales figures of MP3 downloads, there will always be kids picking up a guitar for the first time, 40-somethings playing in front of eight people at the local dive bar, or someone getting goosebumps from hearing a song they believe was written specifically for them. There’s a reason we all listen to and love music.
So yeah, I’m excited to be back in the game. There are a lot of artists I’m looking forward to reconnecting with and some new ones I can’t wait to meet. Also, your comments, suggestions, questions, opinions, turn-ons, and turn-offs (within good taste of course) are always welcomed.
Before I get knee deep into the blogging here, I wanted to post my bio. Fear not, this is the short version (don’t make me break out the three-page epic detailing my childhood in Pittsburgh, PA).
Hopefully, this will put some things in context, and if I ever refer to past experiences, you’ll get some idea of what I’m talking about. I know a lot of us have crossed paths before, but if you have no clue about who I am or where I came from, this should help clear things up:
JIM SHEARER (The Four Paragraph, Short Version Bio)
With four years of college radio experience under his belt, eight years of running a ‘zine, and 10 years of performing in various hip-hop and garage rock bands, Jim Shearer was offered an on-air VJ position for MTV Networks at the end of 2001. His early duties consisted mostly of introducing music videos for MTV2 (the sister channel of MTV that boasted a 24-hour music video playlist). Shearer’s role was expanded once the channel began producing original content. Not only did Shearer host many of these new shows, but he also became MTV2’s go-to man for anything music related.
In March of 2002, a teenage dream came true, when Shearer began hosting 120 Minutes, the hallowed alternative and indie-minded music show that began airing on MTV in 1986. The legendary program evolved into Subterranean in May of 2003, further giving Shearer the chance to meet various up-and-coming independent musicians, as well as revered music veterans like Radiohead, Robert Smith (The Cure), Sonic Youth, Dave Gahan (Depeche Mode), Beck, PJ Harvey, and The Flaming Lips.
In 2004, Shearer’s role further expanded, as he began hosting MTV2 Rock, the channel’s mainstream rock-music show. Around the same time, he was also handling the on-air duties for MTV’s Advance Warning, a monthly half-hour program highlighting emerging music acts.
In Shearer’s six-year tenure with MTV Networks he also acted as Master of Ceremonies for MTV2’s $2 Bill Concert series, was a live correspondent during 24-Hours of Love and 24-Hours of Foo (day-long programs respectively featuring Courtney Love and the Foo Fighters), hosted a live MTV show with the Beastie Boys, Live to the Five Boroughs (another teenage dream come true), and got to interview David Bowie, Public Enemy, Weezer, Green Day, Snoop Dogg, David Lee Roth, Dave Matthews, Noel Gallagher, Bright Eyes, Coldplay and a slew of other influential recording artists.